Why a Week 18 win means more to the LA Rams

San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams
San Francisco 49ers v Los Angeles Rams / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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II: Rams have plenty of young playmakers

Have the Rams found the proper padawan for Jedi Knight DL Aaron Donald? It's not a mistake to think so. Rookie NT Kobie Turner is having a blast in this Rams defense, and it shows. Not only is he having a friendly competition with rookie teammate outside linebacker Byron Young over who will have the most quarterback sacks by season's end, but he is absolutely loving playing for the LA Rams this season.

LA Rams GM Les Snead went against the grain, drafting Wake Forest NT Kobie Turner in Round 3, well ahead of his Round 4 or 5 projection. It appears that the LA Rams knew better:

We can write an entire dissertation about how NT Kobie Turner has reenergized the Rams young defense. But why stop there? OLB Byron Young and Michael Hoecht, DBs Russ Yeast, Quentin Lake, Cobie Durant, and even Derion Kendrick, ILB Christian Rozeboom, DE Jonah Williams, DT Bobby Brown III, Larrell Murchison, and even rookie DE Desjuan Johnson have all stepped up at one time ore another to help this Rams defense.

While the Rams defense may not be topping the NFL ranking in terms of statistics, the group does not need to be the best at everything. The group merely has to give the offense an opportunity to score more points than the opposing team. So far, they have done so in nine out of 16 games.

Young players on this Rams roster are seeing things for the first time in their young NFL careers. Debuting with a playoff team that was just 5-12 is one heckuva way to start off. But the job's not done. Rams players know that a Week 18 performance is bound to get noticed. And for these players, you can bet they want to be noticed for a solid performance.